Back to back wins for Binder as Marquez crowned Moto2 World Champion

by Ryan Lilly

Brad Binder has taken the win in the penultimate round of the Moto2 World Championship at the Malaysian Grand Prix but was overshadowed by second-place man Alex Marquez who wrapped up the 2019 Moto2 World title.

From third on the grid, Binder showed his intentions from the start, taking the holeshot ahead of Marquez and Tetsuta Nagashima.

Sam Lowes ran into trouble early on, running off the circuit at turn 3 on the opening lap and rejoined the race at the back of the pack.

Further down the order, the Malaysian heat was proving difficult for the Dunlop tyres with Friday’s pacesetter Jorge Martin crashing out at turn 4, followed by Fabio Di Giannantonio, Bo Bendsneyder and Enea Bastiannini.

Marquez looked comfortable behind the Red Bull KTM AJO rider, who was doing everything he had to do in order to keep the title fight alive.

Tom Luthi could see his fellow championship challengers start to open a gap over third-place man Nagashima, and made his move on Xavi Vierge for fourth but immediately lost the position by running wide at the final corner.

With the pressure mounting, Marquez started to up his pace and forced the race leader into a mistake at turn 14, dropping the South African to third.

Binder was quick to recover, however, repassing the Japanese rider into turn 1 and started his hunt on Alex Marquez.

Hometown hero Adam Norrodin‘s race ended early after suffering a crash at his Petronas Racing team’s home Grand Prix, sliding out of the race at turn four.

With Brad Binder recovering lost ground, the pressure was now on Marquez and on lap 7 the champion-elect cracked under the pressure, running wide at turn 7, giving Binder a chance into turn nine to attack.

Binder was unable to take full advantage of Marquez’s mistake and allowed Nagashima to close up to the back of the KTM rider.

Binder knew that if he wins the race, Marquez had to be third or lower to keep the Moto2 title alive and had a go at re-taking the lead at the final corner but ran wide on the exit giving Marquez the position back.

Brad Binder used his mistake to his advantage, slingshotting himself onto the home straight, putting him in the perfect position to attack into turn one.

Binder pulled off a hard move on Marquez, forcing the 23-year-old out wide, and immediately opened up the gap.

Brad Binder did everything the South African needed to do.
(credit: MotoGP.com)

Further back, a mistake at turn 14 from Nagashima gifted Tom Luthi third as he started to hunt down Marquez.

Recovering from his earlier off-track excursion, Sam Lowes got himself back into the points, thanks to the help of Stefano Manzi who slid off his MV Agusta at turn two and other VR46 Academy rider Marco Bezzecchi.

Lowes had caught Remy Gardner, but missed his braking zone into turn nine, clipping the back of Gardner, sending the British rider tumbling into the gravel, ending his race.

Back at the front, Marquez started to close down Binder once again with just 2 laps of the penultimate round remaining.

Older brother Marc Marquez joined the EG 0,0 Team Marc VDS crew in preparing the title celebrations, as the Moto2 field started the final lap.

Binder did everything he needed to do, picking up 25 world championship points, but it wasn’t enough to keep the championship rolling on to Valencia.

Tom Luthi came home in third ahead of Xavi Vierge and a brilliant recovery ride from Jorge Navarro who rounded out the top five.

Iker Lecuona finished sixth ahead of Lorenzo Baldassarri who stormed his way to seventh after starting 22nd on the grid.

Tetsuta Nagashima slipped to eighth with Marcel Schrotter and morning warm-up pace setter Luca Marini who completed the top ten.

Second Pons HP40 rider Augusto Fernandez missed out on a top ten finish, coming home in eleventh ahead of Nicolo Bulega, Mattia Pasini, Remy Gardner and the sole remaining MV Agusta of Dominique Aegerter.

Britons Jake Dixon matched his second-best result of the season with a respectable 17th place finish at one of the most challenging circuits on the current calendar.

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Alex Marquez claimed his second World Championship (credit MotoGP)

Alex Marquez’s Moto2 World Championship is his second title, after winning the Moto3 title in 2014.

This is the first time two brothers have won Motorcycling championships in the same year since 2014, when Marc Marquez joined brother Alex in the championship books, claiming what was his second MotoGP World Championship.

Marquez heads into the final round with 28 points over Brad Binder, with Tom Luthi still within a chance of sealing second overall.

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